A/N: I had to write this. If I don't write this, I won't be able to get any rest tonight.

Dammit.

Sometimes the Muse is overactive.

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Paranoia

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You look over your shoulder. You see an empty corridor.

You glance out the window. There are only silent streets.

You toss and turn in bed, then sit up just to fling open the doors. Not a shadow, not a sigh.

You start thinking you're paranoid.

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That glow of your bronze skin; the lure of deeply brilliant crimson hair; the intrigue of the lines jaggedly working their way along a muscular frame, the utter confidence of knowing exactly who you are and your relation to the world.

You move like a flame through webs of spider silk.

Water splashes over you.

Surprising that it doesn't sizzle from the heat.

You know someone is staring, because when you're in the common baths you're always being stared at.

But this time it doesn't feel right.

You start inching, fidgeting, scrubbing at little places like the outside of your elbows and the back of your feet. Your gaze darts here, there, trying to pin down the source of that which makes you feel vulnerable.

You turn, and do not see.

The way water clings to you as it slides all over your torso and flat belly, down to the reddish curls of your groin, and then further along nicely-proportioned legs and seductive calves. Your ankles, your feet, your toes.

Perfection in every respect.

You feel the staring and you hurry through your ablutions, just to get out of the place where a person you cannot find is watching you with naked lust.

You feel the heat, but cannot locate the fire.

You think you're paranoid.

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And yet you deliberately taunt the unknown watcher with your open smiles, your friendly laughs, your quiet introspection.

You know someone sees your every move.

You toss your hair with a touch more sensuality.

You sling your arms over you friends and sit just a little too close.

You grin that cocky grin that nailed you countless admirers, flashing it indiscriminately.

A lingering touch of Matusmoto Rangiku's hand; a shared drink with Kira Izuru. You bow heads with Madarame Ikkaku; let Ayasegawa Yumichika kiss you on your neck to demonstrate its sensitivity; whispered into young Rikichi's ear something that makes him giggle.

You want to set a fire going.

Your dark eyes flick around the dark room. Too many people, too much movement; you try to see but you cannot. But you are sure that every movement you make has been noted.

You are also sure that you are paranoid.

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When the door shuts and the lock clicks its acquiescence, you jolt awake.

You hear the soft voice, and then feel warm lips cover yours.

A hint – just the barest hint – of a fragrance steals your breath. You shut your eyes, your arms reach out for an embrace, and then it is the satin-slick heat of skin on skin, and more.

No words. No need.

Fingers tangle in long silky hair. Dominance and submission, give and take. You arch your back, and then demand for attention with a nibble, a bite, a moan, a caress. A sigh, a cry, a whisper, a whine.

And urgent and ungainly kisses, blind and desperate for contact, sensitivity and sensuality be damned.

A hitch, a gasp, a tumble onto your side.

And then the slow even breathing which begin to match each other's rhythm until the cold stark light of dawn.

Back to reality.

Open your eyes, no one's there except for a faint fragrance.

You are not paranoid.

But you go back to empty corridors, silent streets, nothing on the porch.

You know you're being watched, and will be watched all through your days.

You look around; there is no one there.

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